Do Tibetans self-identify as “Tibetan Buddhists” or is this a habit of self-representation unique to Westerners?
Japhy is of the opinion that if you self-identify as “Tibetan Buddhist” this indicates that you are a particular kind of person.
Unlike most Tibetans you aren’t a very likable person.
Unlike most Tibetans you get an inordinate amount of pleasure from correcting other people.
One of the many reasons you are not liked.
You get Japhy’s drift.
There is something fundamentally broken in people that consciously, not for convenience, or out of respect for their Rinpoches, but to associate themselves with Tibetans as if their goodness might rub off on them, self-identify as Tibetan Buddhist.
If Japhy was Tibetan he would be offended if some white dude represented himself to him as a Tibetan Buddhist.
He wouldn’t care how often such a person takes his holidays in India or how much he respects Tibetan tradition.
Japhy would consider such a person a poser and an insult to that which he presumes to be.
if you subscribe to the email updates here you have a mail box full of updates from yet another Tibetan Buddhist.
He joins the likes of Betty, Lama D, and Mickey in our Tibetan Buddhist hall of shame here.
How are these people typical as Tibetan Buddhists?
They are typical in that if you attend any public teaching of a Rinpoche you will be sitting in the very same room next to people not all different than Tom, the person that filled your mailbox this weekend with minute by minute email updates of his comments that I spent my weekend deleting.
My phone was pinging so much the other day at Dominick’s people were wondering who in the world I was as I attempted to shop for groceries.
I had to stop to delete each of his comments.
This morning he filled your mailbox with updates while I was enjoying my breakfast.
I left up the comment in which he said it would be a good thing if I was dead.
Yes, as is typical of Tibetan Buddhists, Tom, isn’t very smart.
That shut him up.
Hopefully he will also figure out that all his comments are being sent to the mailboxes of anyone who subscribes to the email updates here.
Japhy has more than a casual acquaintance with self-identifying as a Tibetan Buddhist.
He does it himself, mostly for the sake of convenience.
He used to think it represented respect for the Rinpoches that mentored him on the path of liberation.
That stopped in his early forties.
He was at a party chatting up a woman he found interesting.
She had dated a Tibetan Buddhist and then proceeded to spend the rest of the evening detailing for him a catalogue of criticism of Tibetan Buddhists that convinced him to henceforth self-identify as something other than Tibetan Buddhist.
The woman nailed it.
Prone to delusions.
Japhy learned an important lesson from that woman.
This wasn’t what he signed up for.
This isn’t what the 16th Karmapa came to the West for.
Such people, Tibetan Buddhists, are not the kind of people he wants to associate with.
All of which presents a unique wrinkle for Japhy personally.
His ink is all Tibetan Iconographic motifs so people familiar with such images recognize them and simply assume he’s a Tibetan Buddhist.
The irony of course is that if you are a Tibetan Buddhist you will find his ink disrespectful of Tibetan Buddhism.
A further irony is that Khenpo Karthar loves Japhy’s ink.
It fascinates Rinpoche.
Khenpo Karthar has seen more than his fair share of inked up white dudes over the years.
Once while lama Yeshe was translating Khenpo Karthar for Japhy he took the opportunity to ask on Rinpoche’s behalf for a guided tour of my artwork.
Both Yeshe and Rinpoche thought it was quite well done.
They have seen a lot of bad ink.
Japhy had always been told that Tibetans, especially older Tibetans like Khenpo Karthar, found what he had done to himself, he’s all inked up and stretches his ears, to be offensive.
In a kata line at the end of a teaching Japhy once had a Tibetan Buddhist go off on him, “I don’t know how you can sleep at night!”
Japhy can go on and on about these people.
He knows them all too well.
Do you think Tibetan Buddhism is a path of liberation?
All you need to do is check your mailbox to know that the likes of Betty, Lama D, Mickey, and Tom, all of them sadly typical of how Tibetan Buddhists behave when they think nobody can see what they are doing, are clearly not on a path to liberation.
All the world is watching, the time to act is now.